- Select Boxes - These fields (e.g., "Sex", "Twin") provide you a list of each unique value from the database for that field. You can choose any one value from the list.
- Text Boxes - These fields (e.g., "Name") allow you to type any characters into the box to be matched against the values for that field in the database. Note that case is ignored (i.e., "A" is treated the same as "a".) Leave the text box empty to ignore that field in the search.
- Wildcard Characters - The "Reg #", "Name", "Color", and "Markings" Text Boxes accept two wildcard characters: "%" means match any character or characters here; "_" (underbar) means match any single character here. For example in the Name field, "%blu%" will match any sheep with the characters "blu" anywhere in their name (try it out for yourself, and it will make more sense.) Another example is to type "_%" in the Markings field which will match any sheep with non-blank markings. In the above examples, don't type the quote characters -- they are just denoting what should be typed in the boxes.
- Automatic Wildcards - The "Name", "Color", and "Markings" (but not "Reg #") Text Boxes will automatically treat any entry without any wildcard characters ("%" or "_") as if you had included a "%" at the beginning and end of the entry. This feature is intended to make the search more intuitive. For example, if you type "nut" in the name field and click go, your search results will include sheep with "peanut", "walnut", and "nutmeg" anywhere in their name (including their breeder prefix.) If you include a wildcard character in one of these Text Boxes, then the automatic wildcards will not be added.
- Name - The Name Text Box accepts up to 40 characters, but if you enter a name longer than 30 characters, it will be truncated to 30 and a "%" wildcard will be added to the end. This is to help reduce confusion due to some very long names being truncated to 30 characters in the database.
- Breeder Flock # - Only numbers are valid in this Text Box. If you enter other characters, they will likely be ignored or treated as "0". Note that many of the older records in the database are missing the Breeder Flock information (it will display as "0"). Since the Breeder Prefix is a part of the sheep's Name in the database, you might try searching for sheep from specific breeders using the Name field instead (for example, "Dayspring%" in the "Name" text box instead of "3" in the "Breeder Flock #" Text Box.)
- Color and Color Group - The "Color" field shows the color from the registration database. The "Color Group" field is not actually a field from the registration database, but it is a generalization of the more specific colors. There are about 170 unique values for "Color" in the registration database, most of these are various spellings of the same thing (e.g., "Dark Grey", "Dk Gray", "Dk. grey", etc.) The "Color Group" has lumped the various spellings of colors into less than twenty more generic color groups. Feel free to experiment with the "Color" and "Color Group" controls to find out how they might be useful. Remember that the "Color" search control is a Text Box that accepts wildcard characters as described above, while the "Color Group" control is a Select Box from which you can select any single value from the database.
- Using Multiple Search Controls - You can use as many of the search controls as you like for a single search. The search results will show you the records for which all of the search criteria are true. For example, to find all moorit triplets born in the year 2000: select "3" in the "Twin" control; select "Moorit" in the "Color Group" control; select "2000" in the "Min Birth Year" control; and select "2000" in the "Max Birth Year" control (and click "Go"). Try this search and you will see that there were only about 11 sheep matching these criteria. Here's another example: to find all of the Dark Grey sheep, enter "k" in the Color Text Box and select "Grey" in the Color Group Select Box. You will see about 20 Dark Grey sheep with various spellings of Dark Grey. Note that a "Blue Black" sheep was also found, since its color has a "k" and it fell into the "Grey" Color Group.